Posted in Other People's Words, writing

Fictional Time Travel That Won’t Make a Physicist Cringe

I’ve read a few time travel stories and always get hung up on the science which is why I prefer things like The Man from Primrose Lane and my current read: Dark Matter.

Let The Words Flow

by Julie Eshbaugh


A while back I discovered a fantastic article about time travel on  The author, Dave Goldberg, both a physicist and self-proclaimed science-fiction geek, wrote the post back in 2009 in anticipation of the film adaptation of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger.  In the article, Goldberg takes a broad look at time travel in contemporary books and films, from BACK TO THE FUTURE to LOST to THE TERMINATOR.  Ultimately, Goldberg takes the position that, at least to a physicist, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE gets the science the closest to what might be considered scientifically sound.

If you’re writing a time-travel story, I highly recommend a full read of Goldberg’s article.  It can be found by clicking this link.  Below, for a more general overview, I’ve shared the four rules Goldberg says are necessary for scientifically sound, fictional time travel.

1) This is the…

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4 thoughts on “Fictional Time Travel That Won’t Make a Physicist Cringe

    1. Jac, thank you! I always say that to people who tell me it’s okay to break grammar rules. You have to KNOW them in order to break them. Otherwise you’re just wrong. Or lazy. Same here… with time travel I think many people get peeved at the paradoxes but if you know the rules that people inherently expect you can break them in ways that work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Spot on. And I think there is an element of laziness playing out, I’ve tried to recognise it on my own writing but sometimes it slips under the radar.
        Yesterday I picked up a novel in a second hand book shop by Carl Sagan (I had no idea her had written fiction) The novel is about first contact and his prediction of the future. I opened it in the middle and the protagonist was talking about the Doppler effect. I’m curious to see how a scientist with his ability to make the impossible ideas accessible to everyone, approaches the unknown.


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